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Iraq protesters return to Tahrir Square, denounce PM-designate

Anti-government protests against the new Iraqi prime minister designate Mohammad Allawi, in Karbala, Iraq on 2 February 2020 [MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/Getty Images]
Anti-government protests against the new Iraqi prime minister designate Mohammad Allawi, in Karbala, Iraq on 2 February 2020 [MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/Getty Images]

Iraqi protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in the capital Baghdad after the government scaled back some of its anti-coronavirus measures during the month of Ramadan, Anadolu Agency reported.

The protesters held photos of Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Kadhimi with a red “X” on his face in rejection of his candidacy for the role.

Activist Ghassan Adel told the news agency that “any transitional government that brings with it party quotas is rejected not only in Tahrir Square, but in all the country’s protest arenas”.

Adel, who had been protesting in Tahrir Square for months, said: “The masses are stronger than tyrants, parties and politicians,” adding that “this government will not pass. If it is passed, we will overthrow it with escalatory measures.”

READ: Iraq releases 20,000 prisoners amid fears of spread of coronavirus

Another protester, Mohamed Diyab said: “Kadhimi is forming a government of corrupt parties to continue the looting of the country.”

“We are the country of civilisations and we will no longer accept those who are ignorant and thieves to rule us,” he added.

Earlier this month, Iraqi President Barham Salih named Kadhimi, the head of National Intelligence Service, as the country’s third prime minister-designate this year.

This came after Adnan Al-Zurfi resigned his candidacy after he failed to gather enough support to form a government. Al-Zurfi blamed “internal and external reasons” for the failure.

Al-Zurfi had been appointed after Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy on 1 March after parliament twice failed to achieve quorum to approve his government.

READ: Iraq: Woman dies after allegedly being tortured by her husband

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